AD&D Dark Ages
What's Going On
- England is ruled by King Aethelred, called Aethelred Unread by his enemies. Aethelred came to the throne as a child in 978 with the murder of his half brother Edward the Martyr. Most don’t believe he was part of the plot at the age of 13, but the fact is that it happened in the courtyard of his own castle and those who committed the murder went unpunished.
- Some say the real power is Aethelred’s mother, Aelfthryth. Almost everyone believes it was she who was behind Edward’s murder so her own child could ascend to the throne.
- Aelfgifu is Aethelred’s wife, she is referred to as the queen consort instead of queen because she has never been consecrated. Aelfgifu is the mother of 5 royal sons (Aethelstan 10, Ecgbhert 9, Edmund 7, and Eadred 3) and 2 daughters (Eadgyth 6 and Aelfgifu 4). She is currently pregnant with another child.
- The Eoldorman of Northumbria is Aelfhelm of York. Aelfhelm replaced the previous eoldorman Thored (father of queen consort Aelfgifu) after the latter’s defeat at the hands of the Scandanavians in 994. Though the defeat was due to the treachery of Aelfric, Thored bore the brunt of the blame due to Aelfthryth’s hatred of his daughter and his Danish heritage. Aelfric himself has been forgiven by the king.
- Taking notice of Aethelred’s willingness to pay protection money to The Dragon, norse raiders have repeatedly extorted money from the king. Sometimes they depart after receiving their payment, and sometimes they ravage the kingdom anyways. The most recent Danegeld was 16,000 pounds of silver paid to King Sweyn Forkbeard of Sweden and Olav Tryggvason in 994.
- The dragongeld is protection money paid the The Dragon every year. As long as the geld is paid The Dragon remains in her lair. Her goblin subjects occasionally raid caravans or even small towns, but The Dragon herself remains inactive.